Is The SAT Worth It?

by dbent2 on September 16, 2013 - 6:44pm

 

To test or not to test, that is the question.  In the article “Two Professors Retake The SAT: Is It a Good Test” these professors test the authenticity of the exam. Students of all ages across the United States come together with number 2 pencils to take these dreaded standardized tests. Standardized testing has been apart of normal student life for the last 50 years dating back to the first standardized test given in China. The method of standardized testing was to test numerous amounts of people at the same time. Standardized testing is meant to determine how well or poor a student was achieving although it’s a controversial topic. Many feel as though these standardized tests do not fully show students capability but their capability to answer general questions. While other people like school officials and teachers feel as though the test shows how much the students really understand which will hopefully lead to changes in the curriculum if they see a lot of poor grades in a certain area. But, I feel as though standardized testing should be eliminated because it truly doesn’t show what a student has learned through their high school years in one test.

Although the SAT is one of those standardized tests that we can’t escape, it still shouldn’t have as much emphasis on the lives of students. But, one can also see why the SAT might not be so bad. For one, it tests how well a prospective student can score under pressure. It also can help you avoid taking remedial classes since many colleges do look at your scores to determine whether or not you need to a take a remedial class. So, if you do well you can save yourself a lot of money in the long run. Also, just like remedial classes, which are based off of SAT scores, universities also look at it as a way to base merit scholarships off of. So, one can see why SATs are a big deal and it will help students overall so they at least know their problem areas and can seek extra help. But, many don’t like the fact that people use SAT scores as in indicator at who will graduate college. A higher score doesn’t always mean your ready for college, it just means you took the test well and knew how to work it to their advantage like omitting certain questions. Overall, the usage of the SAT has both its positive and negatives and hopefully as time goes on, colleges will find another way to admit students to their university. 

Comments

I think you have the beginning of an amazing argument against taking standardized testing. I personally opted out of taking the SAT, and took the ACT instead. It's a start for colleges to be accepting both the SAT and ACT because at least students have a choice of what type of standardized test they want to take. However, students still cannot get out of testing all together. I agree that colleges need to stop looking at standardized test so much and instead they should focus on the level of difficulty the classes are that the student has taken.
Your argument, although very valid, could be supported more with data information or scientific studies. Many students do poorly under pressure but still excel in school -- that’s a proven fact. Adding some tidbits like that would only serve to improve your writing. All in all, good job!

Let me just start by saying I think this is a great response you have posted here. The title was eye-catching without trying too hard and the first sentence set an informative, yet not overly formal, mood which genuinely made me want to read on.
You brought up a lot of valid points here while maintaining a relatively neutral stance. I think the fact that you kept the tone of this post informative and light (rather than confrontational) and even discussed the reasoning behind the other side (why the SAT is a good indicator of a student’s academic ability), gave your argument more breadth and made the reader more receptive to the points you were making.
I, myself, have always been the type of person to try my hardest at standardized tests without really questioning them too much. This post caught my attention precisely because I could tell right away from the title that you were going to express an opinion contrary to mine on this subject. It was something I had never really considered before: that this standardized test that many hold in such high esteem really might not be indicative of as much as we thought. It also reminded me of my younger brother, Aaron, and made me think that maybe he wasn’t simply trying to give our mother a hard time when he refused to take the SAT.
One thing I think you could have added in light of this assignment was a little more focus on the source article you used to write this post, as the only time you mentioned it was briefly at the beginning. But really, this is very minor in my opinion and I think you did a great job!

The article was great, I really liked the pace that you set. Also the examples you used were well written. I remember having to take the “dreaded” SAT. I studied and studied and Brockport still had a hard time admitting me. They said, “My scores were not quite there.” It made me think that society today bases too much of its standards off of Math and English. Why not Science and History? Maybe there should be a new standard of “smart” or “properly prepared for college”. It’s just food for thought. Awesome job on the article and I look forward to seeing more of your work.

Throughout my entire life I aced standardized test. Then, I got to high school. The pressure got real and I started to slack. I went from a great test taker to a horrible test taker. I lost focus easier than ever, my mind would roam and I would think about how much time I had left to finish one section of a test or how many questions I could answer in a certain amount of time. All my skills were thrown off. Even though I knew the material, there was too much stress put on me by my teachers, my peers, my parents, and it honestly messed me up.

I totally agree with you. The SAT has all these pros and cons, which makes it hard to know how to really feel about it. I feel that the SAT should have more of a comfortable side for students. Because no matter how good it is to be able to work under pressure, some people just will never be able to do so. And on the pro side possessing the variety of skills the SAT assess you for, is better for you as a person. So I'm not really sure how I feel on whether the test is worth it or not but You did a good job in addressing both sides of the debate. You touched on a lot of information.

Throughout my entire life I aced standardized test. Then, I got to high school. The pressure got real and I started to slack. I went from a great test taker to a horrible test taker. I lost focus easier than ever, my mind would roam and I would think about how much time I had left to finish one section of a test or how many questions I could answer in a certain amount of time. All my skills were thrown off. Even though I knew the material, there was too much stress put on me by my teachers, my peers, my parents, and it honestly messed me up.

I totally agree with you. The SAT has all these pros and cons, which makes it hard to know how to really feel about it. I feel that the SAT should have more of a comfortable side for students. Because no matter how good it is to be able to work under pressure, some people just will never be able to do so. And on the pro side possessing the variety of skills the SAT assess you for, is better for you as a person. So I'm not really sure how I feel on whether the test is worth it or not but You did a good job in addressing both sides of the debate. You touched on a lot of information.

I personally have strong feelings against the SATs. I love your view and agree with everything you said. SATs do not actually score how prepared a student is, they don’t even come close! I am a terrible test taker and had a very difficult time with the SATs even though I studied for weeks. My best friend in high school would sleep in every class and still manage to get an A on every test. He did way better than I did on the SATs with absolutely no preparation! Did that mean he was more prepared for college than I was? Absolutely not! He just happened to be a great test taker even though he was not at all a good student. The SATs are just bogus in my opinion and I definitely think schools need to look more at the overall grades of students than the grade on one super long, super tedious exam.

This post caught my eye because I hated preparing for and taking the SAT’s. I feel as though they really don’t reflect what a student has learned throughout high school. They are such a big part in a students education because it is looked at for most of the colleges that students will apply to. And I never knew that the SAT’s have been given out for 50 years. In my high school I don’t think we were really prepared enough for the tests. I agree with you when you said that the test does not determine whether you are ready for college, it just means you did good on that test. You cant base if a student is ready for college from one test. Overall I agreed with most of your ideas.

I think you have solid points, and I agree with your reasoning. I have grown up in a family where school, and schoolwork are highly valued. With that being said, school has always been a top priority and doing well was expected. The SATs don’t determine what kind of student you are, but how well of a test taker you are. Psychological tests have proven that there are various types of learners out there, and with different learning styles comes different strengths and weaknesses. There are several kids who receive good grades, and are considered good students, but are poor test takers. Colleges should not rely so heavily on the scores student receive on the SAT, because the overall criteria of a good student is not just on test taking skills. For example, my strength academically is writing, and my brother’s strength is test taking. I can spend hours studying, and still do poorly on a test, but whip out an A essay with no problem. Just because I am not a great test taker does not imply that I am not college ready, or not suited for college. If colleges want to measure a student’s ability and achievement they need to look more into the overall scheme of grades rather than mainly on SATs.

I like your idea of wondering whether or not the SAT’s are really worth it. To me, I don’t believe the SAT’s are a good test to tell how well you are prepared for college. To test well in school you study the material you are assigned, not given new information. Personally, I did not do as well as I hoped for the SAT. I took the test twice. After taking it the first time I got a tutor to prepare me for the second. Surprisingly, I received the same overall score. The tutor tried to prepare me for the test and I only improved in the math section and went down in writing. I do not believe the SAT’s are a real test of your ability to succeed in college. I think tutoring may help, but some people do not have the time or money. When getting accepted to colleges based off these scores they also take part in scholarships. Some schools have a set GPA and SAT score for scholarships. If you only meet the GPA you will not get the scholarship. I don’t think this is fair because a scholarship is based off of one test. I agree with you that it doesn’t show what a student has learned through their high school career on one test. I think the SAT’s should be eliminated from today’s society.

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